The long, two year road to return to play may have been a challenging journey for Wall, but it’s definitely not something he isn’t used to. John Wall has gone through a lot of adversity throughout his life. You need not wait for Wall’s biography if you wanted to learn more about his path to success: Just look at his tattoos.
Wall’s many intricate tattoos paint the picture of early struggles and rise to stardom.
As John Wall works his way back on the court, let’s take a look at some of the tattoos he’s had done throughout his NBA career.
John Wall’s First Ever Tattoo
John’s first ever tattoo was a pretty major one to begin his ink journey. He had the entire city skyline of Raleigh, North Carolina inked into his whole abdominal-stomach area. John is a proud Raleigh native.
Although John often shares about his troubled upbringing, his experience growing in that neighborhood allowed him to seek refuge in his love for basketball in the first place.
He channeled the hardships into a life-giving talent for him that blossomed into a successful NBA career for the five time all-star. The numbers “919” are also inscribed in the middle, which designates Raleigh’s area code.
John Wall shared his experience getting his first tattoo with Sporting News.
“It was funny because I always wanted one and he (his tattoo artist) made me like get in the chair first before anybody,” Wall said. “So, I had to get right to it and it took five hours. So, I couldn’t punk out and shy away from it.”
John’s Ode to His Parents
John Wall had to grow up in a broken up household for most of his young life. As a child, his father spent most of John’s early life locked up in prison. This made the bond between Wall and his mother grow even stronger.
In dedication to his mother, John had his mom’s name “Frances Pulley” written along with a handful of roses on the right portion of his chest.
Above it, he added another dedication to her for good measure. “Mama’s Boy” it says just above the flowers. I’m sure his mother is beyond proud of her son already.
Wall also got a tattoo of him and his father on the left side of his chest. The image depicts a young John Wall in the arms of his late father. John Carroll Wall, Sr. passed away before his son turned 10 years old.
John Wall’s Kentucky Brothers
John Wall was an absolute phenomenon in college. He played for coach John Calipari under the bright lights of Big Blue Nation, teaming up with future NBA stars Eric Bledsoe and DeMarcus Cousins.
Though they would play just one season together, the three of them shared a tight knit bond. So much so that Wall had a tattoo to represent their bond on his backside. Hear John Wall talk about this tattoo during his ink feature done with Red Bull a few years back.
Wall’s Childhood friends
Even before Cousins and Bledsoe, John had an original set of friends that he hoped to pay tribute too via tat. They call their group “5 Deep”, which wall has commemorated on his body.
Wall further shares what his childhood friends meant to him.
“They never were yes-men to me. When I was growing up and I became the best player in high school, they didn’t say, ‘We’ll, we gone do this because you want to do it’.
They tried to keep me out of trouble, keep me in the right path and made sure I did school work, made sure I did the right things to get ready to go to college. They just started calling our group 5 Deep. Everywhere we go, they love it and that’s the most (important) thing. We just want to be healthy young men that are trying to do positive things in life.”
It’s clear that Wall has a firm appreciation for the people that were a part of his journey growing up.
John’s Owl Tattoo
On his side, John Wall also has a large bird tattoo etched. To him, it signifies a simple adage he believes in “No Time for Sleep”. That might certainly be the case for Wall today, as he works himself back into game shape.
The Great Wall Tat
For good measure, John also has a recreation of the Great Wall on his back to remind himself of the foundation he’s built and the heights he’s yet to reach as a star in this league.